Colorado Revised Statutes Title 18 Criminal Code § 18-3-107 First degree murder of a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider--legislative declaration

(1) A person who commits murder in the first degree, as defined in section 18-3-102 , and the victim is a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider, engaged in the performance of his or her duties, commits the felony crime of first degree murder of a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider.

(2) As used in this section, “peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider engaged in the performance of his or her duties” means a peace officer as described in section 16-2.5-101, C.R.S ., a firefighter, as defined in section 18-3-201(1.5) , or an emergency medical service provider, as defined in section 18-3-201(1) , who is engaged or acting in, or who is present for the purpose of engaging or acting in, the performance of any duty, service, or function imposed, authorized, required, or permitted by law to be performed by a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider, whether or not the peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider is within the territorial limits of his or her jurisdiction, if the peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider is in uniform or the person committing an assault upon or offense against or otherwise acting toward the peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider.

(3) A person convicted of first degree murder of a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider shall be punished by life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the rest of his or her natural life, unless a proceeding held to determine sentence according to the procedure set forth in section 18-1.3-1201 , 18-1.3-1302 , or 18-1.4-102 results in a verdict that requires imposition of the death penalty, in which event the person shall be sentenced to death.  Nothing in this subsection (3) is construed as limiting the power of the governor to grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons pursuant to section 7 of article IV of the Colorado constitution .

(4) In the event the death penalty as provided for in this section is held to be unconstitutional by the Colorado supreme court or the United States supreme court, a person convicted of first degree murder of a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider under subsection (1) of this section shall be punished by life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.  In such circumstance, the court which previously sentenced a person to death shall cause the person to be brought before the court, and the court shall sentence the person to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

(5) The general assembly recognizes that protection of peace officers, firefighters, and emergency medical service providers from crime is a major concern of our state because society depends on peace officers, firefighters, and emergency medical service providers for protection against crime and other dangers and because peace officers, firefighters, and emergency medical service providers are disproportionately damaged by crime because their duty to protect society often places them in dangerous circumstances.  Society as a whole benefits from affording special protection to peace officers, firefighters, and emergency medical service providers because the protection deters crimes against them and allows them to better serve and protect our state.  The general assembly therefore finds that the penalties for first degree murder of a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider should be more severe than the penalty for first degree murder of other members of society.


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